This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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June 21 is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 193 days remaining until the end of the year.
On non-leap years (until 2039), this day marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, and this is the day of the year with the longest hours of daylight in the northern hemisphere and the shortest in the southern hemisphere.
On this day in 1964, Civil rights workers disappear.
In Neshoba County in central Mississippi, three civil rights field workers disappear after investigating the burning of an African American church by the Ku Klux Klan. Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, both white New Yorkers, had traveled to heavily segregated Mississippi in 1964 to help organize civil rights efforts on behalf of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The third man, James Chaney, was a local African American man who had joined CORE in 1963. The disappearance of the three young men garnered national attention and led to a massive FBI investigation that was code-named MIBURN, for “Mississippi Burning.”
The Mississippi civil rights workers murders involved the 1964 lynching of three political activists during the American Civil Rights Movement.
The murders of James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Meridian, Mississippi; Andrew Goodman, a 20-year-old white Jewish anthropology student from New York; and Michael Schwerner, a 24-year-old white Jewish CORE organizer and former social worker also from New York, symbolized the risks of participating in the civil rights movement in the South during what became known as “Freedom Summer”, dedicated to voter registration.
The case also made salient the efforts of Jews in the civil rights movement.
The lynching of the three men occurred shortly after midnight on June 21, 1964, when they went to investigate the burning of a church that supported civil rights activity. James Chaney was a local Freedom Movement activist in Meridian, Michael Schwerner was a CORE organizer from New York, and Andrew Goodman, also from New York, was a Freedom Summer volunteer. The three men had just finished week-long training on the campus of Western College for Women (now part of Miami University), in Oxford, Ohio, regarding strategies on how to register blacks to vote.
After getting a haircut from a black barber in Meridian, the three men headed to Longdale, Mississippi, 50 miles away in Neshoba County, in order to inspect the ruins of Mount Zion United Methodist Church. The church, a meeting place for civil rights groups, had been burned just five days earlier.
Aware that their station wagon’s license number had been given to members of the notorious White Citizens’ Council and Ku Klux Klan, before leaving Meridian they informed other Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) workers of their plans and set check-in times in accordance with standard security procedures. Late that afternoon, Neshoba County deputy Cecil Price – himself a member of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan – stopped the blue Ford carrying the trio. He arrested Chaney for allegedly driving 35 miles per hour over the speed limit. He also booked Goodman and Schwerner, “for investigation.”
Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney were all denied telephone calls during their time at the jail. COFO workers made attempts to find the three men, but when they called the Neshoba County jail, the secretary followed her instructions to lie and told the workers the three young men were not there. During the hours they were held incommunicado in jail, Price notified his Klan associates who assembled and planned how to kill the three civil rights workers.
While awaiting their release, the men were given a dinner of spoonbread, green peas, potatoes and salad. When the Klan ambush was set up on the road back to Meridian, Chaney was fined $20, and the three men were ordered to leave the county. Price followed them to the edge of town, and then pulled them over with his police siren. He held them until the Klan murder squad arrived. They were taken to an isolated spot where James Chaney was beaten and all three were shot to death. Their car was driven into Bogue Chitto swamp and set on fire, and their bodies were buried in an earthen dam. In June 2000, the autopsy report that had been previously withheld from the 1967 trial was released. The report stated Chaney had a left arm broken in one place, a right arm broken in two places, “a marked disruption” of the left elbow joint and may also have suffered trauma to the groin area. A pathologist who examined the bodies at the families’ request following their autopsies noted Chaney also had a broken jaw and a crushed right shoulder which were not mentioned in the autopsy report. As the autopsy photographs and x-rays have been destroyed, the injuries could not be confirmed.
217 BC – The Romans, led by Gaius Flaminius, are ambushed and defeated by Hannibal at the Battle of Lake Trasimene.
524 – Godomar, King of the Burgundians defeats the Franks at the Battle of Vézeronce.
1307 – Kulug Khan enthroned as Khagan of the Mongols and Wuzong of the Yuan.
1582 – Japanese daimyo Oda Nobunaga is forced to commit suicide in Honno-ji, Kyoto.
1621 – Execution of 27 Czech noblemen on the Old Town Square in Prague as a consequence of the Battle of White Mountain.
1734 – In Montreal in New France, a slave known by the French name of Marie-Joseph Angélique is put to death, having been convicted of the arson that destroyed much of the city.
1749 – Halifax, Nova Scotia, is founded.
1768 – James Otis, Jr. offends the King and Parliament in a speech to the Massachusetts General Court.
1788 – New Hampshire ratifies the Constitution of the United States and is admitted as the 9th state in the United States.
1791 – King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family begin the Flight to Varennes during the French Revolution.
1798 – Irish Rebellion of 1798: The British Army defeats Irish rebels at the Battle of Vinegar Hill.
1813 – Peninsular War: Battle of Vitoria.
1824 – Greek War of Independence: Egyptian forces capture Psara in the Aegean Sea.
1826 – Maniots defeat Egyptians under Ibrahim Pasha in the Battle of Vergas.
1854 – The first Victoria Cross is awarded during the bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland Islands.
1864 – New Zealand Land Wars: The Tauranga Campaign ends.
1877 – The Molly Maguires, ten Irish immigrants convicted of murder, are hanged at the Schuylkill County and Carbon County, Pennsylvania prisons.
1898 – The United States captures Guam from Spain.
1915 – The U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision in Guinn v. United States 238 US 347 1915, striking down an Oklahoma law denying the right to vote to some citizens.
1919 – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police fire a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans, killing two, during the Winnipeg General Strike.
1919 – Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttles the German fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed are the last casualties of World War I.
1940 – The first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage begins at Vancouver, British Columbia.
1942 – World War II: Tobruk falls to Italian and German forces.
1942 – World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at nearby Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by the Japanese against the United States mainland.
1948 – Columbia Records introduces the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
1952 – The Philippine School of Commerce, through a republic act, is converted to Philippine College of Commerce, later to be the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
1957 – Ellen Louks Fairclough is sworn in as Canada’s first woman Cabinet Minister.
1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
1973 – In handing down the decision in Miller v. California 413 US 15, the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the Miller Test for obscenity in U.S. law.
1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
2000 – Section 28 (outlawing the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in the United Kingdom) is repealed in Scotland with a 99 to 17 vote.
2001 – A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, indicts 13 Saudis and a Lebanese in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen.
2004 – SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
2006 – Pluto’s newly discovered moons are officially named Nix & Hydra.
2009 – Greenland assumes self-rule.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Alban of Mainz
* Aloysius Gonzaga
* Engelmund of Velsen
* Martin of Tongres
* June 21 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Father’s Day (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Uganda)
* Go Skateboarding Day
* Martyrs’ Day (Togo)
* National Aboriginal Day (Canada)
* Statehood Day (New Hampshire)
* Solstice-related observances (also see June 20):
* Inti Raymi, a winter solstice festival and a New Year in the Andes of the Southern Hemisphere (Sacsayhuamán)
* National Day (Greenland)
* We Tripantu, a winter solstice festival in the southern hemisphere. (Mapuche in southern Chile)
* World Music Day
* International Surfing Day
* Day of Private Reflection
* World Humanist Day (Humanism)